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What is, in the physical sense, the silver lining of a cloud? Is it something that exists? (I know it has some poetic origin, but maybe back then, silver lining was something, like rays shining through clouds.)

And, shouldn't the title of the film be "Silver linings' playbook", with an apostrophe?

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closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, Mitch, Hugo, Mahnax, simchona Jan 27 '13 at 23:36

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is General Reference, even if you couldn't easily look it up. Obviously the silver, bright, white lining of a cloud is the bit that catches the sun. If you can see that, it's probably either not going to rain, or it'll stop soon. The opposite of Every cloud has a silver lining, being, of course Into every life a little rain must fall –  FumbleFingers Jan 27 '13 at 22:04
    
And the second question isn't really related –  American Luke Jan 27 '13 at 22:06
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@Luke: True. So following my general principle that I prefer OP should at least have an answer when I closevote, I'll just say that it's presumably a reference to playbooks which have silver linings. Or an Off-Topic peeve, since movie titles aren't expected to be grammatical (or even adhere to spelling conventions, witness Inglourious Basterds) –  FumbleFingers Jan 27 '13 at 22:12

1 Answer 1

In the physical sense, the "silver lining" of a cloud is the edge, where the sun's rays can shine through the thinnest part of the cloud and give it a radiant, glowing appearance (as opposed to the rest of the cloud, which blocks out the sunlight and looks anywhere from dull-white to dark grey).

As far as the film title, I haven't seen nor heard of it, but I assume that it is about a set of methods that allow you to make the best of a bad situation; in other words, a "playbook of silver linings", which may also be expressed as a Silver Linings Playbook; it is not a "playbook belonging to silver linings" (which is what it would have to be to be called Silver Linings' Playbook).

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It's not actually the thin bit where the sun's rays can shine through. That might be lighter than the dark parts of the cloud, but the brightness we call silver there is invariably caused by sunlight being reflected off the cloud (the sun is below or to one side, or perhaps behind the observer). –  FumbleFingers Jan 27 '13 at 22:07
    
Here's a good picture: pals.iastate.edu/carlson/pretty/lining_txt.html –  Jim Jan 28 '13 at 1:06

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